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Modifications of air launch

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:00 am
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Modifications of air launch 
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Post Modifications of air launch   Posted on: Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:00 am
The thread t/Space Demonstrates New Air-Launch Method provides an information about a modification of air launch to us. The modification has been worked out by t/Space obviously while the idea may be cuased by Rutan perhaps.

Are there more alternatives thinkable? Has theis new method to do with the ability to launch to different directions?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:56 pm
Doesn't this version of air launch mean that at least one of the reasons why Rutan considers air launch to be safer is no longer given?

This one reason was that the casule simply can release and fall down if the rocket is going to explode. Rutan's issue was that this is NOT possible in the case of vertical ground launch - the escape system may fail or be to slow to carry away the passengers from the exploding rocket(s). ...



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Post Re: Modifications of air launch   Posted on: Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:41 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
The thread t/Space Demonstrates New Air-Launch Method provides an information about a modification of air launch to us. The modification has been worked out by t/Space obviously while the idea may be cuased by Rutan perhaps.


Actually, I think the idea is mostly the brainchild of Marti Sarigul-Klijn, Program Manager for t/Space and a professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at UC Davis. I saw on RLV News that they just released a tech report describing the method and testing here:

http://transformspace.com/document_library/media/tLAD_Test_Program.pdf


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:23 pm
His reports have been linked to on the old XPrize website, and are available for purchase from the AIAA Publications page (look in my sig for the link)

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:41 pm
Having to overcome that downward momentum seems a bit of a waste. At least with Pegasus you can pitch up. Perhaps the rocket cold drop down, gain speed, fire then rotate up instead of having to fall within its exhaust plume, stop--then rise.

They will need an awfully lot of fuel.


Last edited by publiusr on Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:17 pm
Their published materials suggest that the reason they chose this method was so they WOULDN'T HAVE to pitch up, thus saving the weight/drag introduced by the wing structure and its ancillary support bracing. The rocket motor is pressure-fed, so ignition will be both timely and reliable. The T/LAD method results in launch orientation after less than a second, so the 10 m/s which was acquired during the drop shouldn't require more than an extra second's worth of fuel to counteract.

I expect that you could put wings on your bird if you turbopumped your propellant, or cut your payload mass... but I can't imagine you, publi, coming out in favor of reduced capacity or more complex propulsion systems...


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:26 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
but I can't imagine you, publi, coming out in favor of reduced capacity or more complex propulsion systems...


I see you are just as amazed as I am. I figured publiusr would like this idea as much as he could like a rocket smaller than a large office building.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:56 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
The T/LAD method results in launch orientation after less than a second, so the 10 m/s which was acquired during the drop shouldn't require more than an extra second's worth of fuel to counteract.


I was incorrect in this statement. After reading the PDF in detail, it specifies that the full-scale CXV would be released at T-4, thus meaning that the ignition would take place .5(32)(16) = 256 feet below the release altitude. It also indicates that the engines will negate the release-induced negative-z vector (128 fps) at T+6.

Six seconds. Not one. My bad.

Still not a lot of propellant, since it is pressure-fed rather than a super-slurping turbopumper.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:38 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
Their published materials suggest that the reason they chose this method was so they WOULDN'T HAVE to pitch up, thus saving the weight/drag introduced by the wing structure and its ancillary support bracing. The rocket motor is pressure-fed, so ignition will be both timely and reliable. The T/LAD method results in launch orientation after less than a second, so the 10 m/s which was acquired during the drop shouldn't require more than an extra second's worth of fuel to counteract.

I expect that you could put wings on your bird if you turbopumped your propellant, or cut your payload mass... but I can't imagine you, publi, coming out in favor of reduced capacity or more complex propulsion systems...


No--I don't favor complexity--but they still have to get that nose up and they still have to fight downward momentum. I also wonder about the ground clearance they will have on the 747.

Remember that 777 engine they had tested on a 747? It was just inches off the runway.

With AN-225--you could have the launch vehicle up top.

They could then increase the size of their booster--and perhaps have it come down a chute atop the carrier aircraft. Then perhaps a parachute would pull the nose back and the now vertical rocket would fire thereafter. There may be problems with that approach, however.

At least the AN-225 has a shoulder-mounted wing, unlike 747.

AN-225 would thus increase their rocket's size and eliminate the risk of close clearances with a top-mount craft. Perhaps a Hotol-like SS2.

The 747 orbiter ferry will no longer be transporting orbiters--so perhaps they will have a future role in air launch. Evergreen is working on a 747 firefighter concept--so perhaps the t/Space folks might like to contact them and share costs in some way. Thus the 747--when not launching rockets--could be fighting fires. Both will need internal tankage in any event--so there is some commonality. Just a thought.

Besides--that firefighter concept needs some better PR in light of this article:

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php? ... ir_tankers

Perhaps t/Space could come to the rescue.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:32 pm
publiusr wrote:
I also wonder about the ground clearance they will have on the 747.

Me too. There was one source which reported that they would make the landing gear taller, but I really doubt that you could get enough clearance that way. Which tends to imply a need to carve up the fuselage. Which is a whole other can of worms because the 747 is low-wing.

publiusr wrote:
At least the AN-225 has a shoulder-mounted wing, unlike 747.

Place another tickmark in the Antonov column

NASA is going to need thier 747 until STS is mothballed in 2010, especially due to the increased flight rate needed. The more often they fly the greater the possibility of needing a landing out west; there were three or four in the two years before the cessation of flights following Columbia. In any case, I don't know if the t/Space folks want to wait that long.

The tanker idea is interesting. I also wonder, since Branson is in the business of buying and flying jumbo jets anyway whether Virgin/MAV will share resources/technology with t/Space and whether, if t/Space keeps getting 'trickle' funds from NASA, there is any legal possibility of any involved entity or consortium making a valid bid for ASP.

Time will tell, I suppose.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:11 pm
Okay, I saw a graphic just yesterday that detailed the t/LAD launch plan, and now I can't find out where I saw it. Anyways, (as best I can remember) the engine is supposed to fire one second after the drop (while the rocket is still rotating); the rocket bottoms out at six seconds (at which time it is pointing straight up), and begins to climb from there. I'm going to try to find out who had the graphic and post a link up here tomorrow. I think it was in Av Week & Space Tech, but no article that would include that is listed on their website... Urgh.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:59 pm
From the horse's mouth:

http://www.transformspace.com/document_ ... un05-2.pdf


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:59 pm
Impressive work.

***********************************************************************************************

I sent the following e-mail to the folks at t/Space. Sadly--a lot of people are afraid of doing business with Russians--a mindset I am trying to put right. Gary Hudson has probably approached you. Even so--I think I may be able to salvage a deal. Here is the e-mail I sent to Mr. Gump at t/Space david@TransformSpace.com 1-703-871-5102:


AN-225 for Alabama—A step into the Future


Dear President Gump, (fitting name for Alabama?) :o


I left a message with your secretary about the AN-225. I understand that Mr. Hudson has already approached them. I can understand your fear in dealing with Antonov.

I have a plan whereby I can get you the AN-225 at no cost to you provided we get the right people all in the same room.

More on that in a moment:

You and I both know that the awesome lift capability of AN-225 is best suited to your needs. AN-225 has a high, shoulder-mounted wing, unlike 747.

The 747 has a very low wing.

You may remember the tests of the 777 engine as tested by 747--and how that engine was about one inch off the runway. The full scale booster may be at least as wide as that high-bypass engine.

As it stands now, the folks over at Evergreen are the only ones who have any experience with fitting large, liquid-filled tanks aboard the 747 for their firefighter concept. They (and others) are also likely to charge about $100 million for a 747 airframe--the same amount of money needed by Antonov to complete their second AN-225 with far greater lift capacity.

Now to my plan:

As you know, Mobile, Alabama has successfully landed the $600 million Airbus Tanker plant location--needing only a domestic partner like Northrup--according to the latest issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology (which also has an article on the Evergreen 747 tanker if I recall correctly).

My state, which ranked first in the nation according to Site Selection magazine, is hungry for more business. We could lose the 117th refueling wing located here, and our Governor (Bob Riley) is in trouble at the polls and needs some better PR.

Gov. Riley is also looking at a plan to have the State help fund a $500-$700 million Domed Stadium/Convention Center. He is looking for an out, seeing that this plan was voted down in metro Birmingham.

Therefore I propose that you contact Gov. Riley and convince him to save the State hundreds of millions, and to base the second AN-225 here in Alabama--with the Alabama National Guard picking up the operational cost.

You would tell Gov. Riley that:

"For 1/5th the cost of the Domed Stadium--you could have the world’s largest airplane based here--where it could be used to transport Strykers and troops for war--but also as a first stage in a TSTO."

You would say that--if he helps you and Antonov--that you would fly out of Mobile--which is close to the Gulf of Mexico for drop/release tests. You could convince Governor Riley to have the coming Airbus tanker plant expanded a bit so that AN-225 and Airbus could work together--paving the way for an Airbus replacement for C-5A built in Alabama.

The key is to get everyone in the same room.

I therefore ask that you get some major "Star Power" and visit Gov. Riley in the Capital at Montgomery, Alabama.

If you, Gary, Burt Rutan and a representative from Antonov were to stand together and make a presentation--showing video of your recent drop tests--you will likely convince him to abandon a far costlier (and unpopular) Domed Stadium--and give him a photo opportunity with a huge aircraft--the first AN-225. This would help the Gov. at the polls, and save our state money--

And you will pay nothing for the carrier aircraft.

Or you could take a chance with Rutan (who has no experience at all with large airframes)--or get ripped off by Evergreen, which will try to fund their tanker/firefighter project off your nickel instead.

Gov. Riley is in trouble at the polls--and needs good PR and an excuse to abandon the dome. You may even convince him to pay for the AN-225 with a special "Scrushy Tax." As you know, HealthSouth executive Richard Scrushy shocked the business world when he pulled an "O.J. Simpson" and got off with a “not guilty” verdict. A special tax--worded so that only Scrushy's estate could be drained--would help t/Space as well.

The key to success is always to spend as much of the other guy's money as you can before risking any of your own. My plan helps you do just that.


I am in contact with Mr.Paul Furlonger at Antonov Airlines: pfurlonger@antonovairlines.co.uk

Gary Hudson has already spoken with the handlers of the AN-225, and I am sure that he balked upon hearing some of their needs. However, my plan would acquire the AN-225 at absolutely no risk to you--and would give you a carrier aircraft whose design and payload capability is better suited to your needs than any 747 or indigenous (home-built) VLA could ever hope to be.

If we play our cards right--even Airbus could be brought in.

Governor Riley's telephone number is 1-334-242-7100, and his economic 'big game hunter" is Neal Wade, who can be contacted at waden@ado.state.al.us or at

1-334-353-1717.

To learn more about my state, visit www.birmingham.bizjournals.com .

For too long, the space advocacy community has thought small--it is an atavism left over by the Goldin era. We have been brainwashed with the idea of 'finesse' while the rest of the economic world builds megaprojects like Kansei, Three Gorges and the Troll platform. A large aircraft is what you need--if your project is to truly take off.

It is truly a 'heavy-lift' world.

My plan offers the best opportunity you are ever likely to have. At worst, Gov. Riley can only say no. At best, he will say "yes." The key--once again--is to have everybody in the same room--you, Riley, Rutan (perhaps), and Antonov representatives--along with some folks at Airbus.

Quite a logistical feat, yes--but if you pull this off, your problems will be over.

Either that or try to piggy back your needs with Evergreens 747 tanker...and take your chances with them.

All the best.


Jeff Wright

(aka 'Publius Rex')


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:31 pm
It seems The latest AV Week has an ad concerning an up-coming Russian Aircraft forum


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